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Peace Beyond Passion

Meshell Ndegeocello

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Album Review

There are times on Me'Shell Ndegéocello's second album where the funky hybrid of R&B and alt-pop that she laid down on her 1993 debut, Plantation Lullabies, actually seems to take on an ethereal quality. Beats and grooves float effortlessly out of the fluid rhythms, and Ndegéocello herself sings with a soothing reserve that was a little too deliberate on her previous work. And it's a better album because of it. Peace Beyond Passion is built around a triumvirate of songs addressing man's inhumanity toward man throughout the ages (with such heavy-handed titles as "Deuteronomy: Niggerman" and "Leviticus: Faggot"), but the real highlights of the set are a wry take on Bill Withers' "Who Is He and What Is He to You" and the ultra-smooth, slow-burning "Stay." It's new age soul that's as spiritually purifying as it is musically sophisticated.

Biography

Born: 29 August 1968 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Meshell Ndegeocello scored a few hits early in her career, the bassist, singer, and songwriter later opted to concentrate on more challenging material by exploring the politics of race and sex, among other topics. From her 1993 Maverick label debut through her releases of the 2010s for Naïve, she built a discography of recordings that defied classification through progressive mixtures of jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. Initially held...
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Peace Beyond Passion, Meshell Ndegeocello
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